United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) has announced the 2014 inaugural class of its new national youth leadership recognition program, the “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards.” The awards program is designed to celebrate the achievements of Native American and Alaskan Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY’s core mission and exude living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.
Honorees will be recognized at a ceremony during the UNITY National Conference taking place June 28 to July 3 in Portland, Oregon, with each receiving a hand-made beaded “25 Under 25” medallion. There, they will join more than 1,300 Native youth who are converging at the National Conference for a full week of youth leadership development, featuring tribal leaders, expert trainers, and Native youth peers from throughout the country.
“We are thrilled to announce and congratulate our first class of the UNITY 25 Under 25 awards program,” said Mary Kim Titla, executive director of UNITY. “Our regional voting panelists had a major task, vetting each candidate and narrowing the field to those who stood out and exemplified what the UNITY organization has stood for for the past 38 years. We look forward to seeing the honorees in Portland, and I encourage everyone to congratulate these outstanding individuals for putting their best foot forward in representing our tribal communities and Native youth leadership.”
In addition to being recognized, each awardee will receive special training by UNITY over the period of one year that is designed to build on their individual achievements. The inaugural class will be recognized as UNITY ambassadors, serving as stellar examples of Native youth leadership in Indian country today.
Biographies of each individual will be published in the official UNITY National Conference program, as well as on the UNITY website. Name, photograph, tribal affiliation, hometown and age of each of the 25 Under 25 can be found below and on the following page:
Nominations for the next 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards will open in Spring of 2015. For additional information about UNITY, and how you can get involved, please contact the UNITY headquarters at (480) 718-9793.